• Strictly Films

Tenet; Christopher Nolan Brings Out A Stellar Spy Thriller! Grade: B


Before we start this review off, let’s take a moment to thank Christopher Nolan, in which he helped contribute majorly upon the reopening of theaters. I believe Nolan used his tremendous power in which he has secured in Hollywood, from past blockbusters, as he used it for good. We all need a reliable escape from the toxic nature of what modern day society has given us over the past months, as Christopher Nolan made sure he gave us that place of escape, by not letting his newest creation settle for less than being shown on a TV screen.


From the bottom of my heart: Thank you Christopher Nolan, for blessing us in many ways. For helping movie theater employees return to work so they can provide financial security for themselves. For bringing back beloved movie goers to the theaters, and most of all helping the Mental Health Community by bringing them a place to escape from reality for a couple hours. It’s amazing how this one lone Film Maker has done more for the Mental Health Community, than the Health Experts and Majority of Leaders in this country during Covid-19... I hate to drop a diss track during a film review, but it has to be said.


Mental Health is currently a serious issue we are dealing with, if not more serious compared to this virus, but unfortunately most often those struggling with Mental Health will always be ignored and forgotten, as it feels like they’re begging us to end our lives so we can become less of a burden, as no one really cares about us unless it’s R.I.P. or for Social Media standards. I’m speaking out on this serious issue because I’m getting sick and tired of all these young adults and children, having to go forward with life knowing they’re better off ending their life than continuing on because no one gives a damn about them. Do more for the Mental Health community, it should never be treated as a hashtag or something to get off likes, it should treated as always a Number One issue in Humanity, and not just an afterthought. Thank you, God Bless. Back on topic: God Bless Christopher Nolan, let’s talk about his most anticipated film post quarantine era shall we?


It’s finally here: TENET! Tenet tells a story about The Protagonist (John David Washington), who goes on an epic journey to save the world from preventing a possible World War Three situation at hand. Through The Protagonist’s journey, he’ll come across a Twilight world in which deals with time moving forward and backwards. Witness The Protagonist go through a series of complicated events, that’ll have your mind constantly ask, “Wait what’s happening” for a good fifty times!


The Cinematography t’was pretty good, loved the locations in which this film was shot at, as it’s a very lovely picture. Also loved some of color pallet in some scenes, including the room in which The Protagonist comes across as he goes through another dimension through time. The camera work in this film is completely mind blowing at times, just fantastic work. The Score all in all I really loved it, felt the composed Score was absolutely awesome. It’s high in tempo, as it brings the body a lot of goosebumps while watching it, does reminisce the Score to Inception in a way.


It’s time to talk about Sound, since it appears to be a trending topic. Some viewers felt the sound was a bit too loud and over barring, as it perhaps wasn’t mixed accordingly. Nolan has always been a film maker in which brings a lot of energy towards the sound department, as his films went on to win 4 Oscars in the past for Sound Editing and Mixing. Sound editing is on par from his past films, however Sound Mixing is a mixed bag. Although arguments can be made in just why the sound is over barring in certain scenes. One scene particular is where The Protagonist is on a jet ski boat, as it’s hard to comprehend what he and this other character is trying to say?! Could be justified as being in a setting in which is an extremely loud setting, as it’s hard to understand what their saying anyways, even if you’re on the boat with them. But sometimes the mixing can just feel a bit tad off, as in some moments where we need to gather enough information in order to understand what’s going on... We do need to hear some of that dialogue in those moments.


Choreography is by far top notch in this film, I honestly couldn’t believe in what I was witnessing. Where it partakes in the action sequences especially, is something you’ve never seen before, even though can feel compared to the likes of Mission Impossible films. Nolan has really created a new style in film that is going to be a trend moving forward, but likely fall on their asses, as this is the most complicated style to shoot action scenes, that you have to be just as a genius like Nolan himself in order to accomplish in some degree.


The cast all in all was pretty good as a whole. John David Washington playing The Protagonist t’was a pretty good performance. The character itself can be a mixed bag, as there is not a whole lot to offer regarding who he is, but I felt in a way makes sense in what Nolan was trying to do. Through time we are all the same, as just beings existing for a moral purpose of beginning a life and to end a life, as we’re nothing more than that. Why The Protagonist’s character is kind of blank, is that’s just how we appear to Time. So in a way I kind of understand it, more so I felt this character was honestly a cool character to watch, I think he’s much more interesting than the characters than Nolan’s last film Dunkirk. In a way he’s just a cool character, that is some what of a bad ass in the Spy department, as John David Washington gave this character the charisma and humanity in which this character needed in order for the audience to be invested in.


Robert Pattinson playing Neil played a pretty good performance. Neil as a character was a cool side kick kind of character, to compliment The Protagonist’s character into this world. The antagonist of this film Andrei Sator played by Kenneth Branagh played a solid performance, I did find some trouble in his over the top acting sequences. As an antagonist his moral purpose of destroying the world does feel from a first watch misinterpreted, but I feel a second watch will give it more reasoning so I’ll keep at that for now. Elizabeth Debicki playing Kat played a pretty good performance, as she provided a sense of emotional purpose in The Protagonist’s journey in which he seeks.


I’m honestly surprised in which Tenet has succeed in reaching to the big screens, as it was not much of a major delay, delaying by two months exactly. Though I believe Nolan would’ve much prefer to be a summer blockbuster release, I feel he’s at least relived to have this film released in any season regardless. After finishing Tenet, I only had one thought of mine “Oh man, this is going to really divide and confuse audiences.” This can be a good or bad thing. Bad thing as audiences will think twice by seeing this film, because it takes a great amount of patience and understanding to fully understand what you just watch. Good thing because I believe movie goers are going to not only enjoy in what they watch, as well as enjoy thinking about the film and it’s moral meaning, but also thinking to see it multiple times in which to fully understand this film.


Personally: I enjoyed the skeptical of this film, it’s quite entertaining and fun to watch, substance wise goes hand and hand as even though I’m confused by it, it’s a film in which makes me want to go out and research which is absolutely rewarding if you’re a film maker who challenges the audience in what their watching, as Nolan tries to achieve that here.


The story as a whole feels on and off for me. As a spy action thriller I felt this was absolutely dope, even compared to the likes of James Bond films. I can honestly say I was never bored by watching this film, it’s flat out entertaining as you’re just in awe in what you’re watching, from visuals to the film making in general. Regarding the time travel element, I feel it’s a bit hard to follow at times, as days on after watching this film, I still seem confused by it. It’s definitely a challenging element in the story, as almost the entire time I keep trying to figure out what it all means?! Some themes have to deal with fate per say, though I do feel there is more to it than just that as I’m trying to puzzle it together.


When compared to Inception, I feel both of these films are different from one another, even though they both go through a complicated narrative. Inception can be understood as it’s based around dreaming, with Tenet it goes through time forward and backwards as time is honestly a complicated theme to begin with, regarding the concept of life. All I can really say is though I’m still confused by what it all means, it does however feel rewarding by Nolan because he wants you to think about this film for a long period of time, as he begs you for multiple watches in order to understand it fully. It may not be loved by audiences at first, but I feel give it a few years and people will be coming around and talk about this film for deep discussions to come. It’s a film in which I can say is an astonishing achievement, that is quite unique in presentation and in story telling, that can not be fully appreciated unless it’s on an IMAX or Dolby Screen.


Overall, Tenet is a solid film. I recommend this film, definitely check this one out and support Nolan and movie theaters that are open in an area near you. -Mitch Smietana

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